Dendritic cells (DCs) present microbial antigens to T cells and provide inflammatory signals that modulate T cell differentiation. While the role of DCs in adaptive immunity is well established, their involvement in innate immune defenses is less well defined. We have identified a TNF/iNOS-producing (Tip)-DC subset in spleens of Listeria monocytogenes-infected mice that is absent from CCR2-deficient mice. The absence of Tip-DCs results in profound TNF and iNOS deficiencies and an inability to clear primary bacterial infection. CD8 and CD4 T cell responses to L. monocytogenes antigens are preserved in CCR2-deficient mice, indicating that Tip-DCs are not essential for T cell priming. Tip-DCs, as the predominant source of TNF and iNOS during L. monocytogenes infection, orchestrate and mediate innate immune defense against this intracellular bacterial pathogen.